Overview with tools, software, best practices and alternatives

What is a Team Status Update?

A team status update contains information about the status and the progress of a group of people working together. It reflects a team’s good business process, implying that team members are doing their parts and there is progress within the team.

Who does Team Status Updates?

Team status updates are prepared usually by all team members.

Regular office staffs prepare updates pertaining to the team status and submit the reports to their superiors. Projects superiors, such as supervisor and managers can also create such updates to present to the entire team.

Why do people do Team Status Updates?

Team status updates are vital in the workplace for some reasons.

The first reason is that team status updates provide an overview on the status of the team, the organization, and the company. These updates also show the direction or the path where a team is heading.

Another reason why people do team status updates is the ability to present salient points in the project. These essential points include data assessment and cues, planning, implementation of activities and strategies, and evaluation of outcomes. Also the team’s strengths and weaknesses, the opportunities that are available, and the actual and potential conflicts are also included.

How to do Team Status Updates

Team status updates begin with the assessment data. Assessment data include information such as the positive and negative cues. Positive cues may refer to the achievements of the team or the organization, which can be strengthened further, or utilized to polish the team’s weakness. On the other hand, negative cues may involve problems that have encountered by the team or existing conflicts that they are facing. Potential conflicts that may arise can also be included in the status updates.

Planning is an essential part of the team status update, since it serves as the foundation of the team’s strategic implementation. The activities to be executed will be determined by the plans. The most important thing in planning is that it has to follow the SMART principle. An ideal plan should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.

Team status updates also include details on the steps or actions the team or the organization is going to execute next. These steps shall be done to actualize what has been planned.

Evaluation of outcomes is also included in the update, in which previous activities and strategies are checked to determine where the goal has been met or not. The team may adhere to the existing strategy is the goal is always met. On the other hand, changes can be made to the goal and the implementation of activities if the outcome is not favorable.

Advantages of Team Status Updates

Team status updates are beneficial in some reasons.

First, it has a one-directional approach, which facilitates comprehension among all team members. This way, project managers do not have to go back to request for clarification or missing information.

Timeliness is another advantage offered by team status updates. Since the updates are informed within the team from time to time, the group will be aware of their pacing and progress.

Team status updates reflects consistency of the team if they are done on a regular basis. If all team members are capable for reporting the status of the team, then it indicates that they are responsible enough in doing their tasks.

Disadvantages of Team Status Updates

While team status updates remains beneficial to a team, it has some drawbacks.

Human error is an inevitable flaw in any documents. This error can be in the form of inaccuracy and incompleteness. Inaccurate and incomplete information may adversely affect the results and interpretation of all updates. To prevent this, team members must ensure to double check the information entered in the update for errors and they have to correct them accordingly.

Another negative concern in making status updates is the delay of submission. Some members may be preoccupied by other things such as feelings of inferiority or personal matters, why inhibit them from doing the update. To counter this, team members should be professional at all times. However, there are some circumstances that may need priority such as health threats or death of a family member.

Best practices for Team Status Updates

Doing the team status updates will not be difficult if all team members follow the format on how it is being done.

Most team updates require three things – the accomplishments, the plans, and the conflicts. A summary of the three will be the content of the update. For overall completeness of the report, implementation and evaluation can be included, along with strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

How does Teamreporter help in Team Status Updates?

Teamreporter is a web based e-mail application that utilizes structure by replacing status meetings with schedule report mails. It is free for a team of four members and it is not difficult to register, since it just takes less than a minute.

Team members are notified by the application via e-mail, asking them to give their insights on the day’s status and progress, actual and foreseeable problems, along with other important events. The members will receive an overview of the team’s general status the following day, based on their replies to the app. In addition, the progress of the project as well as the conflicts members were able to update are included in the information they will be getting.

Since problems identified by every member are informed by Teamreporter, the team members can brainstorm on the steps or strategies that they can implement to prevent potential problems and resolve existing problems.

Team managers can track the project’s progress more efficiently via Teamreporter, while getting updates on the project’s status. To add, they will no longer chase team members just to ask for reports. Improved communication within the team is promoted by the application, since team members just have to enter the necessary information to the app.

Teamreporter’s easy and automated interface is also a big help to executives, as they can get the general pulse of their business.

Alternatives to Team Status Updates

Creating team status updates is an efficient way to facilitate sharing of ideas within the team, thus, enhancing communication within the group.

Team meetings are alternatives to digital status updates, as they facilitate live and face-to-face communication within the team. However, there are instances in which some team members are absent due to certain reasons such as illness. In such cases, reporting applications allow team members to communicate even without having a face-to-face interaction.

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Teamreporter is free for small teams (up to 4 members)